|Good News - October 2017
Is Not Optional…
you have heard this phrase, which shows up in many different contexts. I have
heard it in pregame speeches from football coaches and business team meetings.
I have even seen my brother post this in bold lettering on the walls of his
company’s War Room (which gives you a sense of the kind of business leader he
is). He drove this phrase into the core of my being when I was growing up.
Failure is not optional…
other day I was cleaning up the stage when I ran across a project I would have
just as soon forgot. I had attempted a stage design that had failed, epically.
Fortunately, it never made it to a Sunday service. The design was great, it fit
thematically very well, but I used the wrong materials and it simply did not work.
So I scrapped it, maybe to try again another time. This week I cleaned up the
wreckage and it reminded me of this phrase.
used this phrase in my devotional for Consistory this past month, but I added
in the second half. Failure is not optional…it’s necessary. My brother may
drive the 10 hours from Chicago just to slap me upside the head for saying
that, but I believe it’s true in just about any context.
mean this – if failure is not optional, you will always play it safe. You will
never step out, you will never try anything new, and you will never see if the
glass ceiling we often put over our heads really can be shattered. This, my
friends, will severely limit how much
life a person can live.
like the powerful elephant that is led around by a small string. Somebody asked
the trainer, “Here’s this crazy strong animal. Why don’t they just break free?”
It’s because they are led by a string when they are very young, before they
have the strength to break free. Enough failed attempts teaches them “I can’t
do it, so why try?” Another translation – “If I’m not allowed to fail, why risk
it? Why try?”
failed stage design was not the first time I tried something that didn’t work
out, not by a long shot. But rather than give up ministry (some people would
take a failure and let it go that far in their minds), I learned from it and
will take that knowledge into my next bit of design. And I move on…
are the small strings holding you back? What have you wanted to try, but
thought “failure would be too painful/embarrassing/disastrous”? We have all
failed, no matter how perfect we pretend to be. But risking failure in a
calculated way (what is really the
worst that could happen?) is usually a precursor to a whole new level of
– if we gave up at the risk of failure, none of us would be walking today…